New-Car Sales To Start New Year Strong At 15.1 Million Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate


2013

All Automakers Poised for Strong January Sales; Redesigns, New Introductions Drive Top-Selling Segments

IRVINE, CA--Jan. 29, 2013:  As January comes to a close, analysts predict that new-car sales are positioned to surpass 15.1 million seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), marking a 13 percent year-over-year improvement, according to Kelley Blue Book.   (Please note that there was an additional selling day in January this year; after adjusting for the difference in selling days, sales are expected to increase 8 percent year-over-year).

"January tends to be the slowest month of the year, largely due to a significant number of buyers who purchase new cars in December to take advantage of year-end clearance events," said Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst of automotive insights for Kelley Blue Book.  "Although the deals available in January typically are not as attractive as they are in December, consumers should have little trouble finding a great price on the vehicle of their choosing this month."

According to Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price data, new vehicles are selling for 94 percent of MSRP on average, which is in line with prices seen last year.  In addition to affordable pricing, inventory levels are very good for most makes and models.  As of January 1, 2013, there was a 59-days supply of vehicles available for sale at dealerships nationwide, which is slightly better than the 52-days supply available in January 2012.  Affordable financing also remains widely available, even for subprime borrowers.  In fact, according to Experian's Q3 State of Automotive Financing webinar, the average credit score for a new-car loan decreased by 8 points year-over-year, indicating that auto lenders are opening up credit to additional buyers.

Automakers Poised for Strong January Sales

Kelley Blue Book expects solid gains for all automakers in January 2013.  The most significant year-over-year increases will continue to come from Honda, Toyota and Volkswagen, with each brand expected to see a year-over-year increase of 20 percent or more. 

"The Honda Accord, CR-V and Civic are expected to remain at the top of their respective categories, thanks to fresh redesigns last year, which should help to push Honda sales up around 25 percent," said Gutierrez.  "Toyota is expected to increase an equally impressive 22 percent this month in large part to its Camry, Corolla and Prius family of vehicles.  The redesigned 2013 RAV4 is just starting to arrive at dealerships and will not play a significant role in January's sales total; however, it could help give Toyota additional momentum in the months ahead." 

Among the domestic manufacturers, Kelley Blue Book anticipates Ford to post the greatest gains with a nearly 16 percent increase from this time last year.  Annual gains will be most pronounced for the Ford Focus, Fusion and Escape, as each were redesigned last year.

Kelley Blue Book:  Big Gains Expected for All Automakers in January 2013






Sales Volume

Market Share

Manufacturer

Jan-13

Jan-12

YOY%

Jan-13

Jan-12

YOY

General Motors

180,000

167,962

7.2%

17.4%

18.4%

-0.9%

Ford Motor Company

158,000

136,294

15.9%

15.3%

14.9%

0.4%

Toyota Motor Company

152,000

124,540

22.0%

14.7%

13.6%

1.1%

Chrysler Group

118,000

101,149

16.7%

11.4%

11.1%

0.4%

American Honda

104,000

83,009

25.3%

10.1%

9.1%

1.0%

Hyundai-Kia

87,500

78,211

11.9%

8.5%

8.6%

-0.1%

Nissan North America

85,000

79,313

7.2%

8.2%

8.7%

-0.4%

Volkswagen

45,500

36,133

25.9%

4.4%

4.0%

0.4%

Total

1,032,000

913,284

13.0%

-

-

-

*Includes brands not shown







Redesigns to Lead the Way for Top-Selling Segments

During the past two model years, nearly every vehicle in the mid-size car, compact car, small crossover and subcompact car segments were significantly redesigned. 

"Consumers in the market for a new vehicle in the months to come have a plethora of vehicles to choose from that offer the latest technological advancements and fuel economy approaching 40 mpg," said Gutierrez.  "Kelley Blue Book expects small crossovers to lead in gains for January with help from the redesigned Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and newly introduced Mazda CX-5." 

The Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Mazda CX-5 were not available in current form at this time last year, which leads Kelley Blue Book analysts to believe there will be a significant improvement year-over-year.  Mid-size and compact cars will not be too far behind, with each expected to increase more than 10 percent from last year.  Both mid-size and compact car segments also will benefit heavily from redesigns and new introductions such as the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Ford Fusion, Honda Civic, Dodge Dart and a host of other vehicles.

Kelley Blue Book:  Small CUVs to Lead Annual Gains in January 2013






Sales Volume

Market Share

Segment

Jan-13

Jan-12

YOY%

Jan-13

Jan-12

YOY

Mid-Size Car

177,500

158,234

12.2%

17.2%

17.3%

-0.1%

Compact Car

157,000

135,880

15.5%

15.2%

14.9%

0.3%

Compact Crossover

122,700

103,032

19.1%

11.9%

11.3%

0.6%

Full-Size Pickup Truck

114,500

101,312

13.0%

11.1%

11.1%

0.0%

Subcompact Car

48,100

44,061

9.2%

4.7%

4.8%

-0.2%

Total

1,032,000

913,284

13.0%

-

-

-

*Includes segments not shown







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